How to do your nails at home

I finally have a good home manicure routine down. Doing my nails at home has resulted from various not cool situations at nail salons with regard to poor sanitation, nail damage and just non-relaxing vibes. I have to admit; it is really nice being able to do a manicure whenever I feel like it, no appointment needed, no small talk and be able to watch YouTube while I do it.

To do your nails at home, of course, you’ll need nail polish, but a few other things have proven helpful along the way. I’ll explain way in the breakdown.

As for nail colors, I’ve been enjoying Lakur by Londontown that they so graciously sent to me. You can find these cruelty free, vegan, 9-free polishes at Ulta or online.

What you’ll need

How to do your nails at home


First, you’ll want to make sure your nails are the desired length. I personally like mine quite short but I work as a makeup artist.
I usually use nail clippers first to take off length, then a file to smooth the shape.


Next, take your oil and using the dropper, place a small amount on each cuticle. I love my Loli Beauty Plum Elixir. Rub the oil in.

Using your cuticle pusher, gently push your cuticles back, revealing your nail bed. Now, go wash your hands to remove the cuticle oil.

prep nail surface

Using your alcohol pad, wipe each nail bed down until completely clean and dry. This step is key.


Now paint with your nail polish in at least 2 coats, thin, even strokes. I do find the Twixy tool helps, especially on your non-dominant hand.


Once dry, top with your favorite topcoat. A go to is Seche Vite. I also really like Deborah Lippmann Hard Rock.


If you need to clean up any mistakes, try an old eyeliner brush dipped in nail polish remover or a pointed q-tip. I also find that after a shower, any polish on my skin is gone so don’t worry about it too much.

Manicure Maintenance Tips

Every few days, apply another layer of top coat.

If you hand wash dishes, or lots of makeup brushes like I do, wear gloves. When nails get wet, they expand, then contract when they dry, thus causing dreaded cracking and chipping.

If you are a frequent user of hand sanitizer, also be a frequent user of hand cream. You may consider adding that oil back onto your cuticles too.

One thing I do if I can is to paint my nails when they’re a little too long for my taste. This way, when they start to chip at the ends, I can just use a nail clippers to trim away the chipped edges and I’m back on track!

It may not look as perfect as a salon job, and it won’t last as long as gels, but the time and money saved is pretty cool too.

Nail colors provided for review purposes by Londontown. No financial compensation was received. Post contains affiliate links.

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